What generational online habits mean for your small business

Are you a night owl or a morning person?

If you’re more active at night, there’s a decent chance you’ll also be more inclined to respond positively to that coupon or special offer you just found when you started to go through your email.

That’s one of the conclusions you might make after you check out a new survey report from Campaigner.

The email marketing firm took a look at some of the online shopping habits of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials to give you some insights that can help determind your marketing strategies.

Not surprisingly, they found that Millennials are more likely to open their emails than older generations and they also are more likely to be interested in the coupons they find in those emails. Check out how interest in coupons and offers decreases as age increases:

  • 80 percent of Millennials are interested in coupons and promotions,
  • 75 percent of Gen Xers are interested in coupons and promotions,
  • 64 percent of Baby Boomers are interested in coupons and promotions, and
  • 56 percent of Traditionalists are interested in coupons and promotions.

By the way, to go back to the question that I tossed out to start this article, Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to do their online shopping in the evening, while Baby Boomers and Traditionalists are more likely to do it in the morning.

The contrast between Traditionalists and Baby Boomers versus Gen Xers and Millennials gets even more distinct in where they prefer to interact when making purchases. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers prefer in-store interactions (73 and 67 percent respectively) while Gen Xers and Millennials prefer to interact online (66 and 64 percent respectively).

While overall only 24 percent of consumers want to interact with brands via social media one finding stands out: Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the uncontested winner with a 54 percent social media platform approval rating. The other platforms got approval ratings between 3 percent (Twitter) and 18 percent (Pinterest).

I believe that all of these findings reflect the fact that today’s consumer marketplace is more fragmented than it has ever been, certainly in our lifetime. This underscores the importance of knowing who your customers are today and who you envision them being tomorrow.